An Additional Note on the Harrod-Keynes Correspondence

History of Political Economy 28:2, 1996, pp. 281-294.


The present note aims at complementing an article HOPE published in 1995 on the evolution of Harrod's dynamic thought from the ideas expressed in the 1936 book on The Trade Cycle to the 1939 "Essay in Dynamic Theory" (Besomi 1995). The argument was based on the extensive 1937 and 1938 correspondence between Harrod and Keynes, but assumed that the original draft of the "Essay" which was the object of the debate did not survive. Fortunately this supposition proved incorrect: the manuscript draft was later found among Harrod's Papers in the Library of the Chiba University of Commerce in Ichikawa (Japan), and is now published in this issue of HOPE.

The 1938 draft throws additional light on the specific changes Harrod introduced in the final version in response to Keynes's and Marschak's criticisms, and on the structure itself of Harrod's dynamics. The implications of these alterations provide additional strength to the original conclusions.